Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

What must be done in Afghanistan (IV): Better training

The fourth bit of advice from the smart, seasoned officer we’re calling Sam Damon: CSTC-A is a failure, not in leadership, but in capability. The capability for training host nation security forces resides in the BCT, not a stovepiped, parallel chain of command of ‘ad hoc-ery’ at best. The manning for those advisors are the ...

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Soldiers from HHC 173rd STB Military Police give a block of instruction on rocket propelled grenade launchers during a range in Beshud, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan on February 13, 2008. The range is for the US forces to evaluate the ANP on there marksmanship skills. (US Photograph by Specialist Justin French) (Released)

The fourth bit of advice from the smart, seasoned officer we're calling Sam Damon:

CSTC-A is a failure, not in leadership, but in capability. The capability for training host nation security forces resides in the BCT, not a stovepiped, parallel chain of command of 'ad hoc-ery' at best. The manning for those advisors are the black and blue squad of the Army in a football team sense. They ain't the first string. If this partnership is the main effort in word, then why are not holding the BCT CDRs accountable? Gen Petraeus knew about this before he took on Iraq and he changed it. Must happen here."U.S. Army

The fourth bit of advice from the smart, seasoned officer we’re calling Sam Damon:

CSTC-A is a failure, not in leadership, but in capability. The capability for training host nation security forces resides in the BCT, not a stovepiped, parallel chain of command of ‘ad hoc-ery’ at best. The manning for those advisors are the black and blue squad of the Army in a football team sense. They ain’t the first string. If this partnership is the main effort in word, then why are not holding the BCT CDRs accountable? Gen Petraeus knew about this before he took on Iraq and he changed it. Must happen here.”

U.S. Army

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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